Social Capital and Civil Society

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Civil Society
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space to act, way of contact, held together with glue
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What does living in modern society mean? (Societal complexity)
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-globalization -coping with risks -moving through networks -learning to change and changing to learn
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Citizenship as status
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-legal contract between state and individual
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Citizenship as social role
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-sense of belonging and inclusiveness, focus on interpersonal relationships
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Traditional civil society
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-public space where citizens outside their private lives takes care of communal matters
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modern civil society
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-silent duty and social pressure to agree on social norms and values and to establish free associations to influence reality
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cornerstones of civil society
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citizens have liberty, free will, voluntary work life society has acceptance, commitment, and integration state protects, allows for participation, and empowers citizens
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binding identifcaiton
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social organizations like parties, social movements, or churches encouraging people to follow certain paths
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bonding
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group dynamic that bonds together like minded people, can be positive or negative
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bridging
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-group dynamic that network across demographics, classes, and bring people together (pta, bowling team)
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trends in modern civil society
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-no state controls civil society, just direction -NGO’s are social entrepreneurs
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social captial
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-it is an approach, not a subject -notion of social capital combines various strands of research -addresses sociality and sociability
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sociality
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-motivational drives of human behavior and action in social contexts – actors use norms to interact with each other
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sociability
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-people’s tendency to associate with others or in groups – cultural and structuralist view as as glue for cooperation -without social capital, no community, trust or democracy
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social embeddedness
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-mechanisms of social integration and reproduction -social capital is one form of capital, others are human, cultural, and economic
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Bourdieu’s theory of social capital
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-social capital as the accumulation of past relations which contribute to determine the future
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What did Putnam focus on?
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-the relation between democracy and civil society -strong and active civil society to the consolidation of democracy
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Putnam’s argument
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-social bonds are crucial for both democratic societies and socio economic modernization
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preconditions of a successful democracy
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-voter turnout, newspaper readership, membership in association
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Components of social capital
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-trust -social norms and obligations -social networks and associations
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Indicators of social capital
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-membership in organizations -services as officer or committee member -club or church attendance -union membership -health club, bowling league
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Bowling alone
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as bowling as decline, so has social trust, civic engagement, associational membership, trust in government
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What is social capital necessary for?
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-successful local development, social integration, and political participation
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Why has social capital declined in US?
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-time pressure -economic hard times -residential mobility -women in paid workforce -television and technology

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